Portrait of Lies Book Review

Portrait of Lies Book Review
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Title: Portrait of Lies
Author: Clair M. Poulson
Published: August 1, 2015, Covenant Communications
No. of Pages: 272
Cover Price: $16.99 Kindle


Trey Shotwell a detective in Australia and his father, a famous painter, Simon Shotwell, are set to enjoy a cruise from Australia to New Zealand during Trey’s vacation. However, the cruise turns out to be less than enjoyable when paintings being sold at an art auction on the ship are stolen and Simon is murdered. Trey’s mother had been murdered ten years prior, and several of Simon’s as well as her paintings had been stolen at that time; some of them have appeared at the auction. Trey is determined to solve his mother’s murder and is sure these paintings may hold the key. With the help of friends he has met on the ship as well as law enforcement friends from his previous job with Scotland Yard in London, Trey puts himself and others in grave danger as he follows the clues.

Poulson is an excellent storyteller, and while there are dozens of characters (maybe a few too many to keep track of), the main characters are well-developed. Trey, the protagonist, and his father seem real, and some of their challenges are very believable. Aariah and her grandmother are also good, likeable characters, as well as Hans, Trey’s workout friend and Bonnie, who works on the ship as a security guard. There are several bad guys, including Trey’s uncle, and although there are surprises in the end, readers will struggle to know who to dislike the most and “who done it.”

Even this novel, which has no graphic language, violence, or sex (the good characters are actually living in a utopia where they are almost translatable to heaven), there is plenty of suspense which builds from the beginning and doesn’t end until the dénouement. The storyline will keep readers on the edge, and even though there are bad people on the cruise, it will make most readers want to book a cruise. There are also religious references throughout, so this novel could also be categorized as Christian literature.

Readers who enjoy a good thriller will certainly enjoy this fast-moving novel.


Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.





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